Monday, February 25, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 56, Samuel Smith's India Ale

Another hit from the rock star Samuel Smith!  OK folks, this is my favorite IPA so far!  World Class!  Sam Smith's has yet to disappoint!  I actually saw a bottle of Samuel Smith's in an old episode of a BBC show called All Creatures Great and Small that was from 1978 and took place in the late 1930's.  It was pretty cool to see it!
This is a straightforward beer, not very complex, but extremely smooth and probably the only IPA that I had so far that I personally would consider sessionable.  IPA stands for India Pale Ale and if you turn the dial on the way back clock you will find this beer on board tall ships heading for India.  Hops were basically a preservative for beer and because of the long trip, more hops were added to make the beer survive the journey which could take up to a year!  This beer is hence forth in the class of English IPA's.

The bottle that I am drinking from may be a year old or more.  There is no date on the bottle, but it tastes really mellow!

I poured the beer from a large crimp top bottle which is a homebrewers dream!  Points scored!

The beer poured a very clear light copper color with a nice three finger head at 55 degrees.  Perfect temperature.  The head has excellent cathedral pillar looking lacing that is sticky to the sides and the head stays as a full cap and ring throughout the drink from my imperial pint glass.

The aroma is of mellow light caramel malts biscuity yeast and apricots.

The taste is out of this world smooth caramel malts, some biscuity tastes (very light) and some light fruit flavours all combined and balanced nicely with a bit of dry hops which really don't become exceedingly apparent until the finish which is only slightly dry.  Incredibly pleasant.

Mouthfeel is smooth and moderately full for a 5% abv beer thanks to the malt sweetness and it is really well balanced throughout the sip by the hops.  The carbonation is mild to moderate and the lasting one finger head lends some creaminess to the drink as well.  Slight dry finish makes you crave more!

Overall this is probably my favorite IPA.  I'm not a hop head so this fits the bill perfectly for me!  I also feel that this is a world class beer and am now a strong fan of Samuel Smith Old Brewery which is now on my bucket list of breweries to tour!

You have to try this beer!  Well, because life is too short, you know!


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